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Article

Carol Magee

(b Bamako, 1959).

Malian photographer. He began his career in 1983 when he began documenting cultural patrimony for the Musée National du Mali, where he was staff photographer. His photographs present both broad and intimate views of life, and he is equally skilled in capturing a place empty of people as he is with close-ups, for example of hands or feet. Suggesting both absence and intimate presence, he evokes a powerful sense of the human condition. His aesthetically stunning works offer views that might otherwise go unnoticed: feet pedaling a bicycle, a faint reflection of a colourful boat on creamy white water. Working in both black and white and colour, he almost never shows the faces of his subjects as he captures them at work or in everyday pursuits, for example in Le bol de lait (1997). He suggests people through their interaction with their surroundings; although they remain anonymous, they have an overpowering presence. Light is important both technically and compositionally: in photographed reflections off the land and buildings, one senses the overpowering Malian sun, and such conditions enable him to create images rich in saturated colours....

Article

El Hadji Sy

(b Agniam Thiodaye Matam, July 11, 1945).

Senegalese painter. Primarily an autodidact, he also learnt engraving at the Institut National des Arts du Senegal, Dakar, in 1975. His early work was often rendered in china ink, but he later worked mainly with oil or acrylic paint. In the 1980s and 1990s his canvases focused on the world of Fulani cow herders, as seen in Vache (1988; Frankfurt am Main, Friedrich Axt priv. col.). Ba employs a palette of subtle, earth-tone hues to suggest the arid Sahelian landscape, populating these scenes with stylized cows and herders. His painting is often appreciated by collectors for its visual affinity with ancient rock art. He was considered for membership of the Ecole de Dakar and participated in the government-sponsored exhibition Art contemporain du Senegal, which traveled internationally from 1974 to 1982.

Contemporary Art of Senegal/Art Contemporain du Senegal (exh.cat., Hamilton, Ont., A.G., 1979) F. Axt and El Hadji M. B. Sy...

Article

Anne K. Swartz

(Francisca )

(b East Los Angeles, CA, Sept 20, 1946).

American muralist, activist and teacher. Born to Mexican–American parents, Baca is recognized as one of the leading muralists in the USA. She was involved from a young age in activism, including the Chicano Movement, the antiwar protest and Women’s Liberation. She studied art at California State University, Northridge, where she received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Baca started teaching art in 1970 in East Los Angeles for the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and became interested in the ways murals could involve youth, allowing them to express their experiences. She founded the City of Los Angeles Mural Program in 1974, which evolved into the Social and Public Resource Center, a community arts organization, where she served as artistic director. She held five summer mural workshops from 1976 through 1983 for teenagers and community artists to help her paint a huge mural on the ethnic history of Los Angeles, called the ...

Article

Nina Lübbren

(b Neuenhain im Taunus, Hesse, June 22, 1951).

German painter . She studied at the Glasfachschule in Hadamar (1967–70) and under Hann Trier at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin (1972–9). From 1981, Bach was one of the few women artists to be included in numerous group exhibitions of the German Neue Wilden or Neo-Expressionist painters. Her large-scale paintings of the 1980s characteristically show full-frontal figures of one or more women in front of a flat background, painted in strong colours with broad, aggressive brushstrokes. The figures are typically dressed in contemporary clothes, wearing high-heel stiletto shoes and brandishing long, painted fingernails reminiscent of comic-strip characters or fashion models (e.g. Untitled (Female Portrait), 1981; Berlin, Berlin. Gal.). From c. 1983 to 1986 she painted a series of ‘snake nudes’, in which garishly coloured snakes wind themselves around female figures in an erotically charged fashion, as in the dynamic Baptism by Fire (1984; priv. col.; see ...

Article

Yasir Sakr

(b Jerusalem, 1945).

Jordanian architect . He graduated from Darmstadt University in 1970. Badran’s career is marked by three distinct phases of development, all of which express his capacity for lucid visualization. In his early formalist phase his work reflected modernist inclinations. Committed to a utopian social vision, in each of his designs Badran proposed a redefinition of form, social function and associated modes of behaviour. This phase is exemplified by a low-cost housing project in Bonn (1972) and Handal’s Residence (1975) in Amman. In his second phase his works reflected historicist tendencies by drawing on traditional images for collective communication, for example Queen Alia neighbourhood (1982) in Amman and the Justice Palace Complex (1984) in Riyadh. Badran’s work further evolved into a third stage, a dialectic between modernism and traditionalism, expressed through metaphors operating at two levels. Sensory metaphors present tectonic and iconographic analogies with natural forms and historical artefacts, adapting the designed space-form to its immediate regional setting. Cognitive metaphors endeavour to establish conceptual analogies with the ordering principles and relationships that underlie tradition, through the overall configuration of the design. The third phase of Badran’s career is characterized by a winning entry for the international competition of the State Mosque (...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Warsaw, Dec 16, 1958).

Polish sculptor. He has said of his sculpture that it is informed by an aesthetic of ‘the ill-defined amateur snapshot of the ’50s and ’60s, essentially grey’. He made his first important sculpture, Remembrance of the First Holy Communion (steel, cement, marble, textile, wood, ceramic, photo, 1.7×0.9×1.05 m, 1985; Lódź, Mus. A.) as part of the graduation requirements for the Warsaw Academy. In this representation of a young boy standing by a table on a raised platform, Balka rehearsed the themes of nostalgia and remembrance that he was to explore in his subsequent work. He featured it as the centre of a performance that he staged in an abandoned house in Zuków, near Warsaw, in which he used the ritual of confirmation to suggest rites of passage, or graduation. In the mid-1980s he staged a number of ‘active openings’ that suggest the influence of Joseph Beuys in the use of simple material props. The alignment of his life and art and the austerity of his work also point to the strong influence of Samuel Beckett. In the late 1980s he developed his figurative sculpture in a number of works that evoke mythical figures and broadened his repertoire of symbolic materials to include ashes, different types of wood and neon. In ...

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Fritzlar, West Germany, Feb 10, 1957).

German sculptor. He attended the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg (1976–82), where he studied under and worked as a student assistant for Ulrich Rückreim. In 1989 he was awarded the Förderpreis Zum Internationalen Preis des Landes Baden-Württemberg and the Bremer Kunstpreis. Balkenhol is known for his roughly hewn sculptures of people and animals, usually painted in a simple descriptive manner and displayed on wooden plinths. Although the earliest carved wooden full-length figures of 1982–3 were naked, Balkenhol soon clothed his figures, to minimize comparisons with Expressionist or allegorical wood carving. The broad, generic application of paint suggests both anonymity and personality, pointing to his central theme of the place of the individual in contemporary society. In the mid-1980s Balkenhol began working on outdoor public commissions, through which he explored the possibilities and problems of monumental sculpture. For the exhibition Doubletake: Collective Memory and Current Art (London, Hayward Gal., ...

Article

Hilary Pyle

(b Dublin, Sept 22, 1943).

Irish painter and printmaker . He studied architecture at Bolton Street Technical School, Dublin, from 1961 to 1964. While acting as assistant to Michael Farrell in 1967, he was introduced to hard-edge abstraction and decided to learn to paint. His natural inclination was towards figurative art, initially in his use of the figure as a silhouette in the Marchers series and subsequently in 3rd May—Goya (1970; Dublin, Hugh Lane Mun. Gal.) and other pastiches of paintings by Poussin, Ingres and Delacroix, in which he filled in the outline with flat colour. Such early works were heavily influenced by photography and by a social or political commitment, reinforced with a striking visual wit. These were followed by paintings satirizing the awakening interest in contemporary art in Dublin, as in Woman with Pierre Soulages (1972; Dublin, Bank of Ireland Col.) in which a figure is shown scrutinizing an abstract canvas.

A visit to Brussels, where Ballagh studied the work of Magritte, led him gradually to model his figures, both in portraits and in quasi-Surrealist autobiographical works, in a Photorealist technique in which he alluded to his artistic preoccupations and to his wife and family. The stylistic features of his paintings lent themselves also to silkscreen prints. He has photographed unusual aspects of Dublin architecture, which he published in book form as ...

Article

Elaine E. Sullivan

(b Lubumbashi, Dec 29, 1978).

Congolese photographer. Baloji’s photomontages explore themes of memory, architecture, and the environment. Such subjects are frequently treated through the use of archival photographs and watercolours, juxtaposed with contemporary photographs taken by the artist. By foregrounding archival images of labourers and overseers against contemporary urban and rural landscapes, Baloji’s work humanizes the colonial industrial history of his native Katanga province.

Sammy Baloji grew up in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where he attended the University of Lubumbashi and in 2005 received degrees in Information Sciences and Communication. While working as a cartoonist he borrowed a camera to photograph scenes to use as source material for his drawings. This sparked his interest in photography, which he began to study in the DRC. In 2005 he moved to France, where he continued to study photography as well as video at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg.

Baloji’s work explores the history of Katanga through photography of both the natural and built environment. The locations Baloji photographs display the colonial and industrial pasts that continue to inform present-day politics and everyday life. Abandoned factories remind the viewer of Katanga’s prosperous mining past, and photographs of recently burnt fields where colonial outposts once stood shed light on a post-colonial reality....

Article

Mark Haworth-Booth

(b Newport Beach, CA, Sept 12, 1945; d Paris, Nov 22, 2014).

American photographer . He was a major force in the New Topographics movement in American photography and devised a technique that is cool, subtly considered, surgically executed and ironic. His principal photographic series, The New Industrial Parks near Irvine, California, Park City and San Quentin Point, together comprising the Industrial Trilogy, fuse Minimalist art conventions with cultural observation reminiscent of novelist Norman Mailer (1923–2007) in such works as The Executioner’s Song. His apparently expressionless but obsessive recording of industrial deserts takes on metaphorical overtones as a representation of an American wasteland. Baltz’s bleak vision of ‘landscape as real estate’ has found echoes in the work of many later photographic artists around the world. His work in the 1990s reflected his interest in surveillance and cybernetics. In 2003 Baltz became a Professor of Art at the University IUAV in Venice, Italy.

Baltz, Lewis The New Industrial Parks near Irvine, California...

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Nigeria, 1963).

Nigerian photographer, film maker, installation artist and writer active in Scotland. He studied Chemical Engineering at Strathclyde University, Glasgow (1981–85), before completing an MA in Media, Fine Art, Theory and Practice at the Slade School of Fine Art, London (1996–8). Bamgboyé’s earliest work was photographic: The Lighthouse series (1989; see 1998 book, p. 65) initiated his interest in the representation of black masculinity by depicting his own naked body in often theatrical contortions, amid mundane domestic rooms; the frames of the photographs are attached to coat hangers, underlining the theme of domesticity and pointing to his interest in the changeable character of subjectivity. These themes were further explored in films, which he began to make in 1993: Spells for Beginners (1994; see 2000 exh. cat., p. 74) explores the breakdown of his long-term relationship with a woman through a broken mix of confessional dialogue and fleeting images of their home. The installation of which this film is a part takes the form of an ordinary living room and is typical of Bamgboyé’s technique of adumbrating his imagery with sculptural motifs that emphasize his themes. In other films he explored the issue of migration: ...

Article

Banksy  

Elizabeth K. Mix

(b Bristol, ?1974).

English graffiti and interventionist artist. Banksy is best known for stencilled graffiti that sometimes mimics government posts. His graffiti, both freehand and stencil, started appearing on trains and walls around Bristol in 1992–4. He apparently left Bristol for London late in 1999. The name ‘Banksy’ became formally associated with his work with the publication of his first book, Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall (2001).

Banksy’s text-based graffiti has included the phrase, ‘caution, concealed trap doors in operation’, on London’s Millennium Bridge; ‘designated riot area’ in Trafalgar Square, and ‘this is not a not a photo opportunity’ at various tourist sites including Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, and the Sydney Opera House. Many were fooled by his official-looking stencilled declaration that walls on Marylebone and Bayswater Roads in Westminster were ‘a designated graffiti area’. Other works contained unusual appropriations of public property—vandalized street signs, traffic cones, telephone booths, vehicles, and even farm animals. Banksy has termed his appropriation and manipulation of public advertisements ‘Brandalism’. A subtle use of found objects involves the painting of frames or dotted lines and scissors around the edges of objects, making the outlined objects appear to be either artworks or coupons ready to be clipped. In addition, Banksy has mimicked British pound notes (‘Banksy notes’ featuring Princess Diana) and oil paintings by William Bouguereau and Claude Monet, among other artists, by inserting incongruous objects (bombs, iPods, shopping trolleys) into copies of well-known paintings in a series of ‘Vandalized Oil Paintings’....

Article

John-Paul Stonard

(b Merseyside, June 23, 1966).

English sculptor and conceptual artist. She studied at Kingston Polytechnic, Surrey (1986–9), and at Goldsmiths’ College of Art in London (1992–3). She had her first solo exhibition at City Racing, London, in 1994, and in the following year was included in General Release: Young British Artists at the XLVI Venice Biennale. Banner came to prominence with her ‘wordscapes’, large text works that recount the plots of feature films or other events. The first of these was Top Gun (pencil on paper, 2.13×4.57 m, 1993), a hand-written account of the film Top Gun presented on a cinematic scale. The ‘wordscapes’ led to the publication in 1997 of The Nam, 1000 pages of continuous text describing the Vietnam war movies Apocalypse Now, Born on the Fourth of July, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Hamburger Hill and The Deer Hunter. This unreadable text points to the excess of violence in such films, the numbing of critical faculties, as well as the mythologizing and fictionalizing framing devices used to interpret historical events. Towards the end of the 1990s she became interested in the implications of punctuation signs, dwelling on their qualities as abstract marks that give structure to text. By selecting a variety of fonts, enlarging the full stop signs to ...

Article

Cruz Barceló Cedeño

(b Maracaibo, Feb 4, 1945).

Venezuelan painter and performance artist. He studied painting at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas in Maracaibo and at the Escuela de Artes Plásticas in Caracas. In 1970, after holding several one-man shows at the Galería Polo y Bot in Caracas, he moved to England to study at the London College of Printing. In London and Paris he performed his ...

Article

M. Dolores Jiménez-Blanco

(b Felanitx, Mallorca, 1957).

Spanish painter . He studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Barcelona from 1974 and produced his early work in the context of conceptual art groups in Mallorca. He achieved international recognition at an early age, taking part in major group exhibitions such as Documenta 7 (Kassel, 1982) as an important figure within the neo-Expressionist currents then gaining ground in Europe and especially in Germany and Italy; in 1985 he was the first artist under 30 to be awarded the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas by the Spanish Ministry of Culture. His typical paintings, such as Stevenson and Baudelaire with Agaarium (mixed media on canvas, 2×2 m, 1984; Paris, priv. col., see 1985 exh. cat., p. 57), are literary and cosmopolitan in their references, with a rigorous construction in conflict with the material, rough quality of his surfaces, which he regarded as his real subject.

Miquel Barceló (exh. cat. by ...

Article

Marco Livingstone

(b Luton, Bedfordshire, Aug 29, 1940).

English sculptor, draughtsman and printmaker. He studied at Luton College of Technology and Art from 1957 but abandoned the course in 1959, working instead on the assembly-line of the Vauxhall car factory in Luton for 18 months. The experience of helping to build beautiful, machine-made objects on the shop floor proved decisive on his choice of materials for his first sculptures in 1962: leather and chrome-plated metal. The idea of relying on specialist fabricators to achieve the best result made it easy for him to accept Marcel Duchamp’s notion of the ready-made, as applied to ordinary manufactured items designated as sculpture but not made by the artist’s own hands. Rather than simply taking things as he found them, however, Barker either commissioned fabricators to make them to his specifications as with his leather-clad Zip Boxes of 1962, which aligned him with Pop art or had the original objects recast or resurfaced so that the sculptures became non-functional surrogates for them. The techniques and materials he employed, the almost heroic elevation of the commonplace, the humorous touches and the acceptance of the banal and the kitsch all contribute to the provocative originality of Barker’s work of the 1960s and to its importance in anticipating and probably influencing the sculptures with which Jeff Koons made his name in the mid-1980s....

Article

Frazer Ward

(b San Francisco, CA, 1967).

American sculptor, installation artist, filmmaker, and video artist. Barney emerged in the early 1990s to considerable fanfare, based on the reputation of works made while still an undergraduate at Yale University (he graduated with a BA in 1989), and early exhibitions in New York galleries. Exhibitions such as Field Dressing (1989; New Haven, CT, Yale, U., Payne Whitney Athletic Complex), and early works in the series Drawing Restraint (begun in 1987), established characteristics of Barney’s work: striking imagery drawn from an idiosyncratic range of sources (sport-oriented in the earliest works), sculptural objects in signature materials (e.g. petroleum jelly, ‘self-lubricating plastic’), and athletic performances by the artist, in the service of arcane personal mythology (see fig.). These characteristics are most fully expressed in the Cremaster cycle of five films (1994–2003, released out of order, beginning with Cremaster 4 (1992)). Elaborate and expensive productions featuring lush imagery, drawing on both marginal and mainstream histories (performance art and Hollywood cinema), Celtic and Masonic lore, popular cultural references (Harry Houdini, Gary Gilmore), and anatomical metaphors (the Cremaster is the muscle by which the testicles are raised and lowered), the ...

Article

Eduardo Serrano

(b Cartagena, Oct 27, 1945).

Colombian painter, sculptor and conceptual artist. He studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes of the University of Atlántico in Barranquilla, Colombia, from 1958 to 1960, and in Italy from 1966 to 1967 at the University of Perugia. In 1966, under the influence of Pop art, he made the first of a series of collages combining cut-outs of well-known individuals and comic strips with drawn elements. Two years later he added frosty effects and velvet flowers to his interpretations in black and red ink of figures with distorted bodies and the faces of film stars. In 1969 he began to present these in increasingly three-dimensional boxes or glass cases, accompanied by clouds of cotton wool, plastic figures and other additions that combined to make up fantastic or nostalgic scenes, dream-like and surrealist in appearance and tone.

Barrios was among those who introduced conceptual art to Colombia, for example by publishing in newspapers a series of ...

Article

Jorge Luján-Muñoz

(b San Marcos, Jan 1, 1946).

Guatemalan painter and printmaker. He began his art studies at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas in Guatemala City, then studied painting at the Facultad de Bellas Artes of the Universidad de Costa Rica (1968–9) and printmaking at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid (1974–5). His first works were expressionist woodcuts influenced by Munch, but after studying in Madrid he changed his style, emphasizing the role of drawing and texture and taking his subjects from Latin American literature.

On his return to Guatemala in 1979, Barrios addressed himself to the magic realism that held sway there in literature as well as in the visual arts. From c. 1980 he devoted himself increasingly to watercolour (e.g. Bosch’s Garden, Guatemala City, Mus. A. Contemp.) and to oil painting. His brother César Barrios (b 1945) was also active as a painter and printmaker....

Article

Morgan Falconer

(b Columbus, OH, 1949).

American installation artist and video artist. She graduated from the University of Florida in 1972, having studied finance, architecture and art; in 1986 she received an MA in Communication Arts from New York Institute of Technology. Barry’s work was consistently guided by an interest in the ways in which lived social relations are translated into built form in architecture and public space. Casual Shopper (1980–81; see 1988 exh. cat., p. 14) is typical of her early video pieces in examining these issues through a narrative about a couple in a Californian shopping mall; in it, Barry shows how the realms of private fantasy blend into the fantastical confections of the mall’s architecture. The slide and film installation In the Shadow of the City...Vamp r y... (1982–5) points to her related interests in subject formation, states of mind, and the way in which power is exercised through the gaze: bringing together a series of domestic and urban spaces, the images show a number of figures looking out of a window and a woman watching a man sleep. ...